Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

December 18, 2012

New state schools leader learning lessons in politics

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s new schools superintendent, Glenda Ritz, is making some allies in the Statehouse: Republican legislators who pushed the education-reform laws that triggered a wave of voter discontent that carried the Democrat Ritz into her new job.

Those alliances could lead to some changes in how some of the laws, aimed at boosting teacher accountability and increasing student achievement, are being implemented. A hint of what those changes may be came last week at a legislative preview conference where Ritz shared a microphone — and some common ground — with a would-be adversary, Republican state Senate Education Committee chairman Dennis Kruse.

Both said the new A-to-F grading system for schools has been a failure; both are critical of a high-stakes teacher-evaluation tool that ties teacher pay to student test scores; and both want the state to commit to fully funding full-day kindergarten before its starts doling out dollars for pre-kindergarten programs. And both, despite their significant differences on some major issues — including the private-school vouchers and the expansion of charter schools that Kruse favors — have pledged to work together to get some things done.

“I’ve never, ever asked, in any position that I’ve served in leadership in, anybody’s political party and I don’t intend to pay attention to that now,” said Ritz, the only Democrat elected to statewide office in November. “I’m going to talk to whomever I need to talk to, to be sure I have what I need to get things done.”

Ritz, 60, is a longtime classroom teacher who likes to say she’s “an educator, not a politician.”

It’s true she’d never run for office before this year, when she switched political parties to take on the current superintendent of public instruction, Republican Tony Bennett. Bennett, who lost the November race, was appointed head of the Florida schools system last week. But Ritz is practicing some good politics in forging relationships with some key Republicans; it’s their party that holds super-majority control of both the state House and Senate.

Text Only
Westside
  • WSF 7-29 news sackpacks 1 Wayne Township students receive sackpacks Thanks to the Office Depot Foundation and Indiana State Sen. Mike Delph, 200 students at two Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township elementary schools will start the coming school year with new sackpacks filled with supplies. “Because of Sen.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Worship briefs Church hosts Back to School Bash Brownsburg Church of the Nazarene is hosting a Back to School Bash from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Aug. 3. Each person gets one meal ticket and one door prize for free. There will be hot dogs, chips, cookies, and drinks, as well

    July 25, 2014

  • State health plan reaches capacity |As of this week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has authorized the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to stop enrollment into the existing Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). Enrollment in the current Heal

    July 25, 2014

  • WSF 7-29 biz kings pic 2 [Duplicate] Sports Bar and Grill is family affair CLERMONT — Dave and Pam King have talked about owning a bar and grill for years with their two children, Sarah and Brian. Just this summer, an opportunity came available that the family couldn’t pass up. Long-time residents of the west side of Indian

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • HCF 7-26 biz kings pic Sports Bar and Grill is family affair CLERMONT — Dave and Pam King have talked about owning a bar and grill for years with their two children, Sarah and Brian. Just this summer, an opportunity came available that the family couldn’t pass up. Long-time residents of the west side of Indian

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • WSF 7-22 news wife killer Man in custody for murdering his wife At about 8:11 a.m. Sunday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers were sent to 5702 Laurel Hall Drive after a 911 call of a disturbance with a person injured. When officers arrived they found a female inside the house with head

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 7-15 news fire training 4 [Duplicate] Firefighter recruits train in condemned buildings The classroom heated up this week for firefighter recruits as they moved into the final states of training: live fire.The Wayne Township Fire Department is hosting the training this week at a set of abandoned buildings on the city’s west side.Mike Pr

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 7-15 news brewery pic 1 Upland Brewery wins awards at Ind. State Fair Brewers' Cup Upland Brewing Company took home all the big awards in the professional division of the Indiana State Fair Brewers’ Cup competition over the weekend.The Bloomington brewery was named Indiana Brewery of the Year and Grand Champion Brewery of the Year.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 7-15 news airman burial 1 Fallen airman returns to Indiana after six decades ELWOOD — Unchecked tears rolled down Paul Martin’s lined face as he clutched the hand of a U.S. Air Force servicewoman who handed him a handwritten note at the graveside service for his older brother.The note said simply that it was an honor to atten

    July 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • WSF 7-15 news fire training 3 Firefighter recruits train in condemned buildings The classroom heated up this week for firefighter recruits as they moved into the final states of training: live fire.The Wayne Township Fire Department is hosting the training this week at a set of abandoned buildings on the city’s west side.Mike Pr

    July 14, 2014 4 Photos

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Should the government continue to use military bases to house illegal immigrant children?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read